Astros ranked first in latest MLB power rankings
Just last week we ran a piece on the laughable disrespect thrown Houston's way by Bradford Doolittle of ESPN. Doolittle ranked the Astros sixth in the league heading into 2023, trailing the Mets, Padres, Braves, Yankees and Rays.
Yes, some of those teams are much improved, but the reigning champs are still the reigning champs. They're still the same team that has made six straight trips to the ALCS. They're still winners of four of the last six American League pennants. They're still the Houston Astros.
Thankfully, MLB.com showed the Astros much deserved respect in their first power rankings of 2023, listing Houston atop the list. Of note, they had the Rays, according to Doolittle, an equal parts championship favorite, ranked 10th.
Now, to address the elephant in the room, power rankings, and especially preseason power rankings, mean nothing. The Dodgers and Yankees spent most of last season atop the power rankings lists and accomplished exactly nothing in October. But since news broke of the events of 2017, the Astros, regardless of their sustained success, have been mocked, overlooked and underrated, by fans and media alike.
It's a breath of fresh air for Astros' fans to see their squad finally respected by the media.
In the MLB.com write-up, Alyson Footer had this to say:
"Repeating as World Series champions isn’t easy, but the Astros probably deserve the benefit of the doubt. They’ve played in six straight AL Championship Series. They’ve won the World Series twice in that span. They have a starting staff that is six deep, which enabled them to let Justin Verlander, the AL Cy Young Award winner, leave for the Mets -- simply because they don’t really need him. The “World Series hangover” likely won’t apply this year, considering Houston played two games over the minimum in the postseason and had multiple days of rest between each round."- Alyson Footer
Ain't that the truth...
The Mets loaded up and spent like crazy. The Padres continue to splurge. The Braves continue locking up young talent for crazy cheap.
But until the Astros are beaten and knocked off their pedestal, the Astros remain the top dog, the team every other franchise is trying to catch.
Week one of the Astros ranked on top is in the books. Here's hoping eleven months from now when the final edition is published in 2023, Houston remains on top, having repeated as world champs for the first time since 2000.